Golf may lack the profile of the most popular betting sports but it does offer many positives for the sports punter. For a start, golf is played throughout most of the year, offering weekly tournaments in multiple tours for punters to get stuck into.
Golfers tend to have long careers as well, which means that once you get to know a player’s strengths and weaknesses, that information will continue to be relevant for several years, enabling you to potentially gain an edge. And a quick glance at the average Tournament Winners golf market will reveal that most golfers in most tournaments are available at double-figure odds minimum, which means you can land a healthy profit if you get your selections right.
As with any form of betting, when you’re betting on golf, you have to get used to a range of jargon and phrases with which you may not be familiar, and one of those terms is the ‘push’.
What is a push in sports betting?
The concept of the push is perhaps best known in US sports betting. Essentially, it refers to situations in which neither the bookmaker nor the punter wins a particular bet, with the result that the punter’s stake is refunded, but no winnings are paid out.
While bookmakers generally prefer to avoid this scenario, it does occur in some markets across various sports. One of the most common examples usually occurs in handicap betting markets. If the handicap has been quoted in whole numbers rather than fractions, a push can occur.
Let’s say you have back Atlanta Falcons with a -5 handicap in an NFL handicap market. If the Falcons win the game by exactly five points, then the two teams would effectively be level on the handicap. You haven’t won your bet, but technically, you haven’t lost it either. In this scenario, the bookmaker would declare the result to be a push and refund all stakes.
Read the golf betting small print
All sportsbook operators are required to list the terms and conditions associated with each type of betting market, and it is always a good idea to look through these rules, even if you are a regular bettor on that particular market.
It is in the small print of the market rules that you will find which markets can possibly end in a push scenario, although it is also worth noting that a push bet is sometimes described as a void bet, according to whether you are using the US or a European sportsbook.
Golf betting markets and the push
Most golf betting action takes place in the Tournament Winners market, which is where you will find all of the golfers entered in a tournament, many of them available at big prices. But the inventiveness of bookmakers and the increasing sophisticated golf betting audience has led to the development of a range of golf betting markets, some of which require you to understand the push.
Tournament match betting
The Tournament Match Betting market is a variation of the traditional Tournament Betting market. Unlike the main market, in which you have to select the winner of the tournament, with the Tournament Match Betting you are backing one golfer to finish with a lower score than another competitor. Usually, the identity of the two golfers in a Tournament Match Betting market is chosen carefully by the bookmaker to ensure a close contest.
If you check the rules associated with this market you will find that there are provisions for all eventualities, including the possibility that the two golfers in the market end the tournament on the same score. In these cases, there is a push and stakes are refunded.
Lowest 18 hole event score
This market is a variation on the Match Betting markets. When you bet in this market you have to select which of two or more named players finishes the tournament with the lowest 18 hole score. If a player makes the cut, they will play four rounds, and for the purposes of this market, their lowest 18-hole score is the one that is used. But if the lowest 18-hole score for both or all players is identical, then a push is declared and bets are refunded.
Round handicap betting
Another type of market that can result in a push is the Round Handicap Market. With this type of market, two named players are paired and a handicap used to separate them. The handicap is in the form of strokes made during a particular round. For example, the market might offer these odds:
- Jason Day -2 10/11
- Dustin Johnson +2 Evens
In this case, if you bet on Dustin Johnson and in that particular round, he shoots the same score as Jason Day, you would win your bet as the handicap score is added to his real-world score. However, if Dustin Johnson finishes exactly two strokes behind Jason Day, there would be a tie on the handicap and in this case, the result is a push bet and a refunded stake.
Golf betting push summary
The push is a relatively rare event in golf betting, but that does not mean that you can discount it. An important part of betting is understanding how each market works and if you’re betting on golf, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with those situations in which the push can occur.